It’s so easy to become complacent, or say ‘it couldn’t happen to me’ when it comes to safety.
Good working practices should become second nature…..never let your guard down.
Following these twelve common sense rules will make your time in the workshop much safer and more enjoyable.
1. Appropriate Safety Equipment Should Always Be Worn
Always assess the risks
Continually assess the risks to your health when working in your shop.
Some protective equipment is designed for a specific task.
So do wear ear protectors when you are using very noisy tools such as routers and surface pleners……latex gloves when applying finishes……a dust mask when using sanders, planers and surface planers….a respirator when spraying paint or varnish.
Above all, ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES, no matter what job you are undertaking. You cannot predict what might fly through the air, so don’t take any chances……wear them all the time to keep safe.
2. Unplug The Power Lead Prior To Changing A Bit Or Sander
Always disconnect the power before changing bits on a drill or the blade on a jigsaw. Don’t just look to see the power is turned off…..UNPLUG….as a switch can malfunction or get bumped accidentally.
You can tape the chuck key to the power cable to remind you to disconnect the power.
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3. Keep Your Bits And Blades Sharp
You may think that changing a bit or blade regularly is a waste of time. How wrong you would be.
Dull cutting blades will bind or kick back, possibly causing injuries.
Sharp cutting tools also give cleaner cuts and consequently a higher standard of finish.
4. Don’t Reach Over A Blade Even Though It’s Not Working
Never place your hands anywhere near a moving blade. Even though you may be tempted to remove offcuts or other waste by hand, remember that many serious accidents have happened in this way, including hand amputations.
You should wait until the blade has stopped, turn off the equipment and then use a push stick to clear the debris.
5. Remove All Old Nails And Screws From Reclaimed Timber
It is commendable to try to use second hand timber where possible, but do check it for screws, nails and any other metal buried in the wood. You could even use a metal detector to do this.
Not only can extraneous metal damage your blade, but it can cause kick back, which is a common cause of injury.
6. Don’t Soldier On When You Are Tired
You might want to finish that project, but if you are feeling tired or unwell, leave it for another day.
It goes without saying that you should be clear headed when using equipment and tools in the workshop.
7. Remember To Work Against The Cutter
Power tools are designed to cut into the timber, not with the grain of the timber. So if you are using a router bit or a saw blade, the wood should move through the tool in the opposite direction to the movement of the cutting head.
This practice ensures greater efficiency and safer working.
8. Only Use One Extension Lead
It’s a good idea to use ONLY ONE heavy duty extension lead for all your power tools. That is not one lead for each power tool but one in total.
The reason for adopting this policy is to remind you to change a bit or blade whilst the the lead is still unplugged….just another safety precaution.
9. Take Your Time
Rushing to get a job done can be a recipe for disaster. Not only can you injure yourself, but you will not complete the job in hand as professionally as you would wish. So keep safe by taking your time.
10. Concentrate On The Job In Hand…Don’t Be Distracted
It is so easy to become distracted when you are midway through a job.
Always complete the cut and leave the job in a safe state before dealing with the distraction.
11. Keep The Floor Clear Of Offcuts And Other Trip Hazards
Get in the habit of maintaining a tidy workshop by stacking timber in an orderly fashion and keeping the floor swept so no trip hazards build up.
The overall layout of floor based equipment, storage of materials and the positioning of tool racks should be carefully considered, so that walking around the workshop is reduced to a minimum.
12, Always Have A First Aid Kit Handy
If the worst happens and you have an accident, you will be grateful that a first aid kit is to hand and that it contains all of the essential medical supplies.
Keep a first aid kit handy
So do be mindful of these rules and KEEP SAFE.
You may like to read a couple of my other posts…..